Passengers evacuated after botched takeoff at PHL

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Thu March 13 2014, 06:39 PM
Passengers evacuated after botched takeoff at PHL
Passengers were evacuated from a plane at the Philadelphia International Airport Thursday evening after an apparent equipment malfunction during takeoff.

Airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said the plane, US Airways Flight 1702, was preparing to take off for Fort Lauderdale around 6:30 p.m. when a tire blew, causing the nose gear to collapse.

Emergency slides were deployed, and all 149 passengers were safely evacuated. No injuries were reported, Lupica said.

The runway where the plane malfunctioned was closed Thursday evening as authorities worked to remove the aircraft. The airport's three other runways remained open.

Lupica said the airport wasn't experiencing major delays, though some inbound planes that hadn't yet taken off were being held at their departure cities until the situation was fully resolved.

"Our main concern is the safety and security of the passengers on the plane, and also making sure that we move that aircraft safely to an area where it can be examined," Lupica said.